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Aside from automobile and technology brands, South Korea has taken the world by storm through its trend-setting pop culture, riding the so-called “Korean Wave” (Hallyu), ie. the popularity of South Korean culture in other countries – including the Philippines, where pop music has invaded the airwaves and television dramas are primetime shows. One major aspect of this global phenomenon is, of course, Korean pop music – or K-pop for short. While modern K-pop has its roots in the 1980s, the scene exploded globally in the first decade of the 21st century with solo acts like BoA and Rain, as well as pop groups like Super Junior, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, Girls’ Generation, and 2NE1.
While not everyone can get this close to their favorite Korean stars, there are places in the city where fans can have a fun and interactive experience. Aside visiting some creative hotspots in the city, our group also visited some pop culture attractions.
Opened by South Korea’s major broadcasting company, MBC World is Korea’s first hallyu theme park, which features not only K-pop music, but Korean dramas or K-dramas, as well. Across three experience zones, there’s a hologram K-pop concert, virtual reality (VR) drama sets, K-pop dance lessons and interactive booths where you can have your photo taken with your favorite Korean idol.
If you’re not into K-pop, there are also interactive areas that feature the other aspects of the company like a VR tour of the studios and a newscasting booth where you and your friends can pretend to be news anchors and weather reporters delivering the day’s news.
Another must-go for K-pop fans is SMTown Land in the upscale district of Gangnam (popularized worldwide by Psy’s dance track “Gangnam Style”), which features the recording artists of SM Entertainment collectively called SMTown. The umbrella team includes K-pop’s most popular groups like Super Junior, NCT, EXO and Girl’s Generation. The “theme park” features a museum, hologram theater, cafe and souvenir store. SMTown Museum features an extensive listening library, costume galleries and a backstage-themed exhibition hall featuring thei
This blog post was made possible by the Seoul Press Tour from September 17 to 21, organized by Seoul Metropolitan Government.